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services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
with troops serving in afghanistan yesterday. the soldiers admiral mullen talked with weren't asked about how a troop drawdown would affect them. they asked if they would get paid if the republicans forced the united states government to stop paying its bills. the region that has been rocked by violence and plagued by sue coyed bombers this month, they wondered how they would take care of the families if the checks stopped coming next month. let me read a little bit of that press story that came out yesterday. quote -- "half a world away from the capitol -- capitol hill deadlock -- the economy and debt crisis are weighing heavily on the u.s. troops in afghanistan. the top question among them is one a top u.s. military officer wouldn't answer: will we get paid?" end of quote. admiral mullen went on to say, "i don't know the teens that question, but either way, those soldiers" he said, "all of us must continue to work every day." mr. president, this is really unacceptable. a country as rich and powerful as ours, men and women with bombs going off around them, shouldn't worry about whether this
the president to wage war. we do so at a time when the united states is so engaged in wars in afghanistan and iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. in light of these circumstances and the lack of united states vital interests in in libya, i do not believe we should be intervening in a civil war there. american combat forces are so efficient at certain types of operations and are over the horizon technology is so potent that the use of the military instrument to right wrongs exists as a tremendous temptation for presidents. american intervention in libya did not come as a result of a disciplined assessment of our vital interests or an authorization debate in the congress. given all that is at stake in pakistan, afghanistan, iran, saudi arabia, egypt, syria, yemen and elsewhere in the islamic world, a rational strategic assessment would not devote sizable american military and economic resources to a civil war in libya. it is an expensive diversion that leaves the united states and our european allies with fewer assets to respond to other contingencies. under the constitution, it
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
drawing down the cost of our military efforts in afghanistan and iraq. last year we spent a little over $150 billion. this year we'll spend a little over $100 billion. and the plan is to soon be down to at least $50 billion in two or three years. so over the ten-year period there'll be about eight years at nearly $50 billion or so spent on the war instead of $150 billion. that's part of the plan that we've been operating on for a long time. $150 billion for the war is not baseline expenditure of the united states. it was never projected to continue at that level, so hopefully we could bring it below $50 billion. maybe we went get to $50 billion. i don't know. but what is the reasonable estimate? i think the house republicans and the president said it would drop to $50 billion, and that would be the baseline out there for the rest of the time. that's $1 trillion. that's $1 trillion. so you take $1 trillion out of the $2.7 trillion, you're down to $1.7 trillion. and another thing that's scored in that, since that $1 trillion in war costs is scored the way mr. reid scored that, which is ph
from the iraq and afghanistan wars are real. that's c.b.o. saying it. not some democrat who's hoping and praying for an easy fix. this completely undercuts the arguments by republicans who have tried to call these savings a gimmick, even though they included them in their own budget and voted for them only a few months ago. if it was knock their budget -- if it was okay in their budget, it's got to be okay in our budget. you can't just change your mind based on whose budget it is. the substance should matter to some extent. plus, since the c.b.o. will only measure the plan's first draft before aofficial plan savings were incorporated into the bill, the final version will achieve even deeper savings when it is filed on the floor. as "politico" reports this morning, "in the battle of budget scores, the senate democratic deficit-reduction bill is the clear winner thus far over an alternative by speaker john boehner." and lastly, senator reid's proposal allows for a joint committee that has the potential to achieve even deeper savings down the road to get our country back on the path to
? well, they say that the savings from winding down the wars in iraq and afghanistan don't count. specifically, they say that these savings are -- quote -- "a widely ridiculed accounting gimmick that breeds cynicism." unquote. yet all but three of the 43 senators who signed this letter voted for the ryan budget on may 25 this year. that budget counted the same drawdowns as almost identical in savings. so those savings were legitimate enough to secure their support for the ryan budget but not legitimate enough to secure their support for leader reid's debt ceiling compromise. and here we are on the precipice, and suddenly they've done a 180-degree turn. either these savings count or they don't. you can't have it both ways. so we are proposing exactly what republicans have been saying that they want. yet instead of accepting this deal, they're using what precious time we have left to push forward with their agenda, and it's not even their agenda. it's the tea party agenda. their radical agenda is a wolf in sheep's clothing. last night we voted down speaker boehner's plan which requ
every month for military operations in afghanistan alone to prop up a corrupt and incompetent karzai government. how about ending wasteful subsidies to big agriculture companies? how about asking billionaire hedge fund managers to pay the same tax rates as their secretaries? the truth is that the best way to deal with our long-term fiscal situation is to grow our economy. that means creating jobs and putting people back to work. the last election i thought was about jobs. we haven't talked about jobs at all since the new republican majority became -- came to power. that means investing in things like education and infrastructure and green technology and medical research. that's the kind of economic future the american people deserve. the boehner default plan would take us exactly in the wrong direction and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dreier: mr
of the american people. >> mr. speaker, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is in afghanistan and was asked by a number of soldiers whether they were going to get their checks next week. how can you allow them to wonder whether they are going to get paid? >> we will be able to come to an agreement. >> if we could have had this with a bipartisan agreement? >> it could have been finished early this past week. there was a bipartisan agreement between myself and the leaders to move the underlying bill through the house yesterday. all the president had to do was say yes and it would have moved quickly through both the house and the senate. we wasted a week that we did not need to waste. now we have been driven into this and the president has to decide how we will get out of it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with a reasonable and as possible people that want this crisis to end as quickly as possible. >> let me add, the country is not going to default for the first time in history. that is not going to happen. we have a level of seriousness with the
in afghanistan alone to prop up a corrupt and incompetent karzai government. how about ending wasteful subsidies to big agriculture companies? how about asking billionaire hedge fund managers to pay the same tax rates as their secretaries? the truth is that the best way to deal with our long-term fiscal situation is to grow our economy. that means creating jobs and putting people back to work. the last election i thought was about jobs. we haven't talked about jobs at all since the new republican majority became -- came to power. that means investing in things like education and infrastructure and green technology and medical research. that's the kind of economic future the american people deserve. the boehner default plan would take us exactly in the wrong direction and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman is recognized. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, as i listen to my friend from the other side
military to be getting the news in afghanistan and iraq of all the upheaval in washington, because they're getting the news, of course. and for them to worry, oh, my gosh what happens august 2 if my paycheck isn't there or my wife or my husband -- for my wife or my husband to be able to use that to pay our mortgage or the basic expenses? i just want to put it in perspective here. we have people in the military with boots on the ground by the thousands that are making under $20,000 a year. now, those are people who are living paycheck to paycheck. they don't have the luxury of having a big savings account with that kind of income, and especially if they've got children. my goodness, they're making under $18,000 a year, some of these younger junior members of the enlisted corps. so i don't think we ought to make them worry for ten seconds if they can pay their basic bills for their housing and the food for their families. in my state of texas, there are 28,000 brave men and women deployed in the support of operations in iraq and afghanistan. there are more than 97,000 service members depl
is in afghanistan, visiting the troops. the question they are asking, will they be paid if this default happens? let me put this plainly. if senator reid's plan passes as they pay down their domestic spending spree with the blood and sweat of our troops, the military will break. we have allowed ourselves to be distracted from the massive entitlement programs that are actually bankrupting the country. that stops here. the budget passed last night shrinks the government and, most importantly, holt's three years of neglect to our armed forces. thank you. now i would like to ask the gentleman from arizona -- i mean virginia, i do not know how that happened, the chairman of our readiness subcommittee. >> i think that this is an important issue. over the last several weeks we have heard a lot about the word compromise. i think that the american people realize that overlaid on that are two other words. we need to make sure that we are having common sense on whatever compromise that we have. we do not understand why it is the democratic administration constantly believes we need to compromise our national s
have had their fill of catastrophe and near catastrophe. recently in afghanistan, admiral mullen, chairman of our joint chiefs, was asked by troops if they'll be paid next month. his answer was, "i honestly can't answer that question." admiral mullen had to tell the troops, "i'd like to give you a better answer than that right now. i just honestly don't know." mr. president, it is inconceivable to me that we will leave our troops in limbo by driving our country over the cliff of default. our nation's economic life is in peril. i don't remember ever in the 32 years that i've been here is our nation more in need of deliberation, statesmanship and compromise. "the new york times" columnist david brooks, who is a conservative columnist, recently wrote that too many republicans seem to have joined a movement -- his word -- in which -- quote -- "the members do not accept the logic of compromise, no matter what the terms." close quote. i hope that some of our republican colleagues will prove mr. brooks wrong on this matter because of its huge significance. the time for ignoring hard tru
these savings from withdrawing from iraq and afghanistan. and essential education, job creation, housing, and environmental investments where america's economic recovery and for our strong economic future would be protected from the slashing cuts proposed by the house republicans. the irony is, republican leaders previously have backed all the spending reductions called for in leader reid's plan. now, i don't agree -- and i suspect all of us don't agree with all aspects of this proposed solution. but we're not going to have 100 solutions on this floor. we're going to have one that we can vote on. i wish this would have included new revenue, especially by ending such costly and outdated tax benefits as those still enjoyed by the biggest oil companies to help us pay off our debt even more quickly. i'd like to help pay for the debt incurred by the inexcusable earlier decisions to enter two wars without paying for them. and i continue to believe the surcharge for the wealthiest would mean that they would pay more of their fair share after so many years of tax cuts that have tilted far more t
billion in iraq and afghanistan to train the security forces, less than $10 billion to retrain our work force for the jobs of the future. well, mr. president, i see others have come on the floor. i'll wrap this up. deficit reduction is important. i'm not saying it isn't. but it is not the single-most important thing right now. the single-most important thing is to put people back to work. that will, as senator wyden said earlier, start to create the demand. it will spur more private investment as the federal government begins to invest in the future of this country. that's where we ought to be focusing on. once we get the wheels going again, once we get people back to work and the economy start to to -- starts to grow, that's when we start to reduce the deficit. to just focus on deficit reduction right now to the exclusion of putting people back to work reminds me of when doctors used to put leaches on people who were ill. it only made them more ill because it drained more blood out of their system. and most times proved fatal, as it did to our first president, george washington. our ur
, not talking about wars in iraq and afghanistan, not talking about natural disasters, disease, epidemics, not famine. i'm talking about our national debt. our national debt is the threat. it is the great e threa greatesr national security. i'll tell you this isn't a problem for one party, the other party, it is a problem for all of us as americans. now, i'm not the only one that's saying it. actually, the chairman of the -- of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen, has said the most significant threat, the most significant threat to our nation's security is our debt. let me repeat, the most significant threat to our national security is the debt. you may notice, mr. president, that admiral mullen makes no mention at all of the debt ceiling. the presiding officer: would the senator from wyoming cease for a minute. could we have order, please. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming may continue. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, as i was saying, you will note that admiral mullen makes -- makes no mention at all
is in afghanistan. he was asked by soldiers whether they will get their checks next week. how can you allow these soldiers to wonder whether they will be paid? >> the senator and i are both confident that we are going to be able to come to some agreement with the white house and and this impasse -- and end this impasse. >> [inaudible] with a bipartisan agreement next door? >> we could have had this finished early this week. there is a bipartisan agreement between myself and the senate leaders to move the underlying bill that we moved to the house yesterday. all the president had to do was say yes. that bill would have moved quickly through the house and senate. we have wasted a week that we did not need to waste. we have been driven into this cul-de-sac and it is time for the president to decide how we are going to get out of it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with reasonable, responsible people who want to this crisis to end as quickly as possible. i am confident we will. >> let me just add, you know, our country is not going to default for the
is in afghanistan. he was asked whether they are going to get their checks next week. >> i think we are beth confident we'll be able to come to some agreement with the white house in this impasse. heading the way of the vote. by this time, we could have had this bipartisan agreement nextdoor. we could have had this bill flippished early between next week. there was an agreement between myself and leaders to be moved through the house. for the president, all he had to do was say yes. that bill would have moved quickly through the house and senate. we wasted a week we didn't need to waste. we've driven through the cul-de-sac and it is time for the president to decide howle handle it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, we are dealing with reasonable and responsibly people that want this crisis to end as quickly as possible. i'm confident it will. let me add, our country is not going to default for the first time in history, that is not going to happen we now have a level of seriousness with the right people at the table that we needed and thought we had last weekend.
that it needs that is a small percentage for wasting infrastructure in afghanistan. the notion that the cftc that the 80 or $90 billion more that we need can't be done because of the deficit that people spent in $147 billion so we can keep subsidizing american farmers is nonsense. similarly with the fcc they want to turn in. they will bring in more money to the system than it will be given to run it. that's one effect. in fact, what you have running here is a catch 22. first, deny the fcc and cftc adequate funding. they in turn are not able to deal with the rulemaking requirements that they have. then because we haven't been able to move as quickly, that's something they have imposed. obviously, you want the fcc and cftc to have smart people and information technology. i have to say i do not see it coming from the financial institutions. many of them recognize while you may not like the rules, if you've got the rules, you want them well run. this is coming from the republican party who just believe despite all of the evidence to the contrary that an unregulated free market works. you saw thi
social security but not the wife of a soldier in afghanistan. that's not such a good idea. maybe we won't pay the veterans benefit. we'll pay the idea. not such a good idea. what about those 12 million to 15 million students head ofd to college in the next few weeks with a student grant or staopbt loan from the federal government?shall we pay those je public colleges take care of their own? you see what can happen if we had a country, especially a country like the united states, which instead of paying all of its obleses on time, whether it is to china or japan or grandma or to the veteran, that we begin to selectively pay those bills when we had the money. i think i know what would happen. instead of being able to borrow money for ten years at 3%, we might have to pay a little more for it. let's say it just went from 3% to 4%, what would mean to us? it would mean, according to the congressional budget office, that the taxpayers would have to pay $1.3 trillion more in interest over ten years. so if it goes up to 5%, that's twice that. or it goes up to 3% -- that's what happens when you
to the president of the united states, as an example, we want you to continue to wage war in afghanistan at the cost of $10 billion a month, this president knows that he will have to borrow about $4 billion a month to meet that congressional appropriation. you see, we borrow about 40 cents for every dollar we spend. similarly, when it comes to the payments that we make to our veterans, who are disabled, we have promised them we will pay you, because you served our country and you lost a limb or you were injured and we will compensate you for that loss for the rest of your life. we need in making that commitment that we're also making a commitment to borrow the money necessary to do it. so periodically a president will come to congress and say, i understand our obligations which you have sent to me and i have approved, and now i ask you to extend my authority to borrow the money to meet those obligations. that has happened 89 times since 1939. since we passed this law, presidents of both parties have come to congress and asked for that authority. and aceman as i mentioned, not d congress
be directly affected by a government default. paychecks for soldiers, in afghanistan and iraq and at bases around the world conceivably wouldn't go out. f.a.a. towers could shut down. border crossings could close. operations at the f.b.i. and the c.i.a. would be put at risk. safety inspections of the food that we eat and the cargo that enters our ports could halt. and the resulting spike in interest rates would ironically make our debt even harder to tackle because each 1% rise in interest rates alone would result in $130 billion in increased interest payments on our national debt each year. perhaps, most importantly, hard-working american families would also feel the crunch. a spike in interest rates would effectively force a tax on all americans and american businesses due to increased consumer costs. just as important, failure to raise the debt limit would lock up credit markets because the u.s. would no longer be seen as a reliable credit risk. coincidentally, mr. president, yesterday an important consumer protection law which senator lugar and i introduced and passed and you helped us
with bills and insurance companies. soldiers, in too many cases returning from iraq and afghanistan, are facing even greater challenges in the working market. i was at youngstown university talking, there are programs there, there's a group through magnet in youngstown in northeast ohio about putting -- getting -- helping soldiers and sailors and marines leaving the service, integrating into the classroom and helping them find jobs in that region, someplace we've fallen woefully short. manufacturing, which was moving along steadily earlier this year, we had seen 12, 13, 14, 15 months of job growth in manufacturing, not enough job growth but some, that's even slowing down. steps taken through the auto rescue and other things we did in the last couple of years dealing with this terrible, terrible recession created in 2007 and 2008 the auto rescue saved millions -- auto rescue and other efforts saved millions of americans from joining the unemployment rolls and we're seeing a better auto industry, an auto industry coming back, especially in places like defiance and toledo and northwood
of questions. >> mr. speaker, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is in afghanistan and he was asked whether soldiers will get their checks next week. how can you allow the soldiers to even wonder whether they will get paid? >> senator mcconnell and higher months -- both confident that we can come to an agreement with the white house and in this impasse. -- end this impasse. >> we could have had this bill finished early this past week. there was a bipartisan agreement between myself and the senate leaders to move the underlying bill that will be in moving to the house yesterday. the president, all he had to do was say yes and that milk -- that bill would have move quickly through both the house and senate. so we have wasted a week we did not need to waste. now we have been driven into this call the second it is time for the president to decide how we are going to get out of it. >> what gives you confidence? >> in spite of our differences, i think we are dealing with a reasonable, responsible people who want this crisis to end as quickly as possible and i am confident that we will. >>
and afghanistan, saving $1 trillion in the process. our troops in the middle east deserve our admiration and praise for so successfully carrying out their missions. we must, however, continue to press for a strategy that will bring our troops home as soon as we safely can. the reid deficit plan would find an additional $40 billion in savings by cutting fraud and abuse in tax compliance and a number of non-defense federal programs and $60 billion in other savings, including cutting unnecessary spending on agricultural subsidies and auctioning off electromagnetic spectrum that the government currently holds. finally, by cutting the government by over $2 trillion, we'll have to borrow less money than anticipated and that will save an additional $400 million -- sorry, $400 billion in projected interest costs. in total, the senate democratic plan on which we will vote would cut the deficits by $2.7 trillion over the next ten years. while senator reid's proposal would not address the tax gimmicks and loopholes throughout our tax code that help favor the well-connected, this omission does not m
afghanistan and iraq is just not credible. we don't know what the obstacles are going to be in afghanistan and possibly iraq. we also don't know what we might have to do in the middle east going forward. afghanistan is not settled, mr. president, and we have to have a certain level of stability on the ground in afghanistan or we will have wasted the billions that we have already spent and the lives of our military personnel in afghanistan because it will go back to the way it was before, a center for terrorism that will come to our country or can come to our country. it did once already and we have been over there to try to wipe out al qaeda and the taliban, which has been in league with al qaeda. we have been over there losing american lives and spending american taxpayer dollars to protect our country from another 9/11. to say that we're going to cut $1 trillion in the future over the next ten years when we aren't placing the emphasis on what are the conditions on the ground is not sound policy and it's certainly not sound national security policy. so that's illusory. and then the other
of the money that we are going to save by not continuing operations and iraq and afghanistan for the next ten years at their current level. that that was also in the rhine and budget. as it turns out, the rise in budget receives $2.2 trillion in savings without using that accounting gimmick triet compared to the president's 2011 number, the ryan budget saves $6.2 trillion without using that accounting gimmick. with the ryan budget does -- if you look through the various charts and pages of it -- it also has various comparisons, including pretty much the obligatory comparison to what is called the current law budget that cbo scores, and in that he compared because that's what cbo does the oco cost for the overseas contingency operation cost, but he did not utilize that in order to achieve the savings in his budget. so i had made the same mistakes others had in assuming what we were told was correct. paul ryan made it clear no, that wasn't correct. when we criticized the bill that the majority leader has brought up for use in over a trillion dollars in savings from that oco account, i think we
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